Greetings from the rain forests of Northern California! Storm after storm has pounded us with rain over the last couple weeks and hopefully it will help put an end to our drought situation. There is water everywhere but other than a few downed trees it hasn’t been all that bad. Looking to get out and get some fresh air in the mountains? Join us on February 25th and 26th in the Apple Hill area for another Community wine club day. Participating wineries are offering their wine club discounts to any members of any of the other wine clubs, i.e if you are an Illuminare member you will get the wine club discount at any other participating winery. This is a great chance to check out some of the other good wineries in the area. For enjoyment this time around we have our two newest red wines, the 2014“Thaddeus” Alicante Bouschet and the 2013 “J and J” Barbera. Your credit card has been charged $39.75 for these two selections plus tax and any applicable shipping. If you have chosen to pick up your wine club, you may do so at any time.
2014 “Thaddeus Vineyard” Alicante Bouschet
Alicante say what? Here’s a new one to peak your interest. For those not familiar Alicante Bouschet is known as a French Rhone grape but also used in Spain, Portugal and the U.S. It is what they call a teinturier grape variey, which is a French word meaning ‘tinter’ or ‘dyer’ denoting grapes with pigmented flesh. As almost all of the other varieties have clear juice inside the berry, this one has red juice. The result in the finished wine is usually a very deep, crimson ruby color as this one is. This grape is a cross of Petit Bouschet and Grenache and as it’s been around the wine world for a very long time it seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts with more modern producers making it as a single variety wine. This one has a lot of good fruit (no surprise there as it’s from Thaddeus Vineyard), a little drier finish and works very well with food.
Wine Club price: $21.00/bottle, $ 252.00/case
Retail price: $28.00/bottle
2013 “J and J Vineyard” Barbera
In Italy, Barbera is the third most planted grape behind Sangiovese and Montepulciano. This fact actually kind of surprised me that it was that popular, even in Italy. Sure we have a lot in our area, but it doesn’t seem that well known in other parts of the state. Certainly the lion’s share of Barbera in California is from El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, and Placer. Here is a tasty one and as I like the Barbera every year, this 2013 is definitely one of my favorites in recent memory. It has the huge fruit we always get from these grapes, but this year’s has almost a creaminess to it that makes it very easy to drink. As Barbera is known as great food pairing choice, I rather like this one to just sip on its own. If you do pair it up try something like hard cheeses, game, or something with mushrooms.
Wine Club price: $18.75/bottle, $ 225.00/case
Retail price: $25.00/bottle
There has been a lot of credit card changes recently as they switch to the new chip cards. If you have been issued a new card, please make sure we have the updated one on file by calling Cherie at (530) 306-8258. We hope everyone made it through the holidays in one piece and if the wine rack took a beating in the last months we’re happy to help you fill it up again…